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More than half of adults with learning disabilities still live with their families

A round up of the latest research from nursing and medical journals.

Papworth Trust’s publication on disability in the UK is in its sixth edition but, sadly the research presented in it about people who have learning disabilities is no less shocking than previous editions.

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At least 50% of all adults with learning disabilities still live at home with parents or family members. For some, this limits their life experiences and denies them the opportunity for independence. Many have elderly, frail parents. This impacts on the person with learning disabilities’ social circle and presents further limitations. In only 25% of cases where someone lives with an elderly relative, the local authority has a planned alternative care.

A total of 20% of people with a learning disability work, but 65% or more people want to.

People with learning disabilities are 58 times more likely than other people to die before the age of 50 and are four times more likely to die of preventable causes.

People with learning disabilities are prone to being obese and this has a negative impact on their health and ability to engage in some leisure pursuits and activities.

People with learning disabilities are ten times more likely to have serious eye and hearing conditions and, in many cases, their difficulties remain undetected, so this may be a gross underestimation.

Learning disability nurses continue to be at the forefront when promoting positive health for this client group. This research highlights that there is still a clear agenda for us in promoting the health needs of people with learning disabilities, in health and social care/local authority settings.

Papworth Trust (2016) Disability in the United Kingdom. Facts and Figures.

Compiled by Stacey Atkinson, matron/manager for inpatient services for people with learning disabilities and lead nurse at St Mary's Hospital, Leeds


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